Monday, March 10, 2014

Meat, what happens when humans eat excessive amounts of meat protein.

Yes, I am vegetarian.  Most of the time.  I do conform to societal conventions and eat a bit of meat at times, holidays, events that I attend, and dinner at a restaurant with family.  But for the most part, I don't consume meat.  I have this thing about modern meat (see the multitude of articles I have written on the subject by searching for "Modern Meat" in the search box on my site)  But for me, meat is not a necessity, nor is it for any human actually.  If you look at the statistics and nutritional requirements for human health, the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for protein for an adult human is .36 grams per pound of body weight.  That means that an adult human that weighs 200 pounds needs just 72 grams of protein.  That's about 2.5 ounces of meat daily.  That's a burger, a small one.  Or a chicken sandwich, or a third of a chicken breast.  Or a fraction of the "Big Burrito".  Anything more than that, is considered a high protein intake.  If you eat like that all the time, then it will cause problems.  It ain't just me saying these things, it's real scientists.  (High Meat Diet) is the link to the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine article on what a high protein diet does to the human body.  Here are some of the highlights
  1. Osteoporosis - Large quantities of high protein foods, meat, encourages urinary calcium loss
  2. Cancer - Most meat proteins when cooked at high temperatures produce compounds called heterocyclic amines.  These have been linked to most cancers, including breast and colon.  Long term high meat intake is associated with significantly increased risk of colorectal cancer.  
  3. Impaired kidney function - High animal protein diets places strain on the kidneys and are associated with reduced kidney function.  Studies now show that as much as one fourth of the adult population in America has reduced kidney function.  And most don't even know it.  This loss of function is a direct result of a high meat based diet and that plant protein had no harmful effects.
  4. Heart Disease - Even though the prevalent theory is that saturated fat causes heart disease, new research is happening that shows this is not the case; however, there is evidence that a high saturated fat diet adversely affects the compliance of arteries, increasing the risk of heart attacks.  Especially when the diet is a low fiber low plant material diet.  As is the case with most Americans.There is a positive and specific correlation between eating a diet high in meat protein and having high blood pressure.  Another significant cause of heart disease.
 And yet I still have people tell me that a vegetable based diet does not contain enough protein for health.  That is still the number one reason I'm told that humans need to eat meat.  Number two reason comes from people that remember a little bit of their high school nutrition or science classes.  Plant based proteins are not complete proteins.  There are eight basic essential amino acids that are required to make complete proteins.  All of the plant material we have available has some, but not all of the eight.  If you eat a mixture of plants, you are able to complement what's missing from one source with what's available from another.  There are two books that I highly recommend, "Diet for a Small Planet" and "Recipes for a Small Planet"  Both do an excellent job of explaining protein complementarity and also give some exciting recipes to make that allows you to eat great food, without meat. Then lastly I get told that a meat free diet does not give me any vitamin B12 and I will die without it.  That's what supplements are for, and of course, I eat eggs, yogurt and wild caught fish.  All excellent sources of B12. Never farmed fish, see Modern Meat articles, it's just about the same, nasty nasty stuff.

Then there is, the Thermogenesis Effect.  This is what all the Paleo Diet proponents talk about.  How it takes more internal body energy to digest meat than it does to digest fat or plant proteins.  What this is about is that researchers have found that the human body uses about 25% to 30% of the calories ingested to actually digest meat protein but only uses 5% to 15% of available calories to digest plant proteins.  And similarly it uses about the same to digest fats.  The difference in the thermic effect of meat, carbohydrates and fats is that the human body has no way to store excess protein.  So to deal with it, it means higher urea production and excesses go into gluconeogenisis.  And of course, the bad one is it can also lead to ketoacidosis, which is where the body burns ketones instead of glucose and there is a high risk of brain impairment and in severe cases, permanent brain damage.  Not just me making this up, here is an exceptional study on high meat diets done by some cool researchers.  ( Meat and How You Get Rid of IT )  One of the coolest aspects of this report though is the information about how researchers found that eating a high protein, from meat, diet led to individuals having LESS perceived physical energy than when eating a low protein, high carbohydrate diet.  That's sort of the opposite of what those Paleo diet people tell me. 

Then there is the body odor thing.  Yes, it's true, high protein diets cause body odor.  Most people don't realize it.  Many wonder why dogs and cats just love me.  Weird, because I don't like most dogs and cats, but they don't have a problem with me, especially the ones that their owners say to be careful with.  Most of them just sidle up to me and wag their tails at me.  I don't smell like a competitor, I don't smell like a carnivore.  I'm not a threat to them, because I don't smell like I want to eat them, or their food.  Ever watch animal shows on TV, the hunters attack the herd from downwind because the hunters smell like carnivores.  If they were upwind, or the wind direction changes, their presence is revealed and hunting becomes more difficult. And of course for us humans, all that rotting meat in your gut makes your skin smell and attracts flies.  People look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them flies don't land on me when they are flying around everyone else. 

Well, that's enough stuff about the science, and the whimsy of eating meat.  Let's just say that given all of this stuff, and the fact that Modern Meat is just unbelievably BAD for modern humans, that we should all, each and every one of us, just try to limit our meat intake.  We will feel better, and live longer, have less chance of contracting the serious problems that the medical profession just loves to see people get, and save a few bucks too.  Plants cost less than meat.  Not just at the market, but in the long run.  Health wise.

1 comment:

  1. To those that sent me, well, they were emails, that were not in anyway what I would consider, well, nice, I'm sorry if you don't like my writings. Look at the sites I refer to. If you want to be derogatory and rude, do it to them. DON'T KILL THE MESSENGER!!!!!! Criminy, I read, I put 2 and 2 together and get 4, and write about it. Get a life, and no, I am not posting either email, I will not subject intelligent readers to your rude and horribly misspelled ranting.